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Fairy Update

After what feels like ages (but isn't, I think it's just because I'm on a deadline with this quilt!), I've finally got the fairy quilt top finished.  I'm finding it hard to take a decent photo of it because it's so big (about 68" x 108") so this is the best I can manage at the moment.  I think this photo captures the colours fairly accurately, even if you can't quite see all the top!

Fairy quilt top

Yes, it's a rather large for a soon to be four year old but when I made a quilt for her older sister, her mam wanted it to be long enough to go over the top of the pillows so I've done the same with this quilt...and then some!  Here's her older sister's quilt, which also features fairies!

fairy quilt
As you can see, my photo taking hasn't got any better since I took this five years ago!!

As the current fairy quilt is so large, backing fabric was going to be horrifically expensive.  In a fit of  'I'm not paying that!', I decided to piece the back out of what remained from the front, plus three metres of a pale pink on white dot which was intended as backing for a not-yet-started project (it cost £6 a metre a few years ago).  Fortunately, I'd deliberately ordered more than I needed of the two main fairy prints as I wasn't sure how much I'd need and planned to make a pillowcase with any leftovers.  There now aren't any leftovers so she won't be getting a pillowcase.  Probably as well because I'd have to make her sister one and I don't have any of 'her' fabrics left!  Anyway, here's the (enormous) back:

Fairy quilt back
Those two white lines are sunshine, not a horrible mistake/bleach stain!

Yesterday was crawl-around-the-floor-with-masking-tape-and-safety-pins day.  (And if that wasn't enough to make me feel ancient today, I fell down the last three or four stairs last night - it's a miracle I can walk today!)  This is the best photo I can get and was taken before several hundred safety pins were added.  It's always a pleasant surprise how much quicker it is to pin rather than tack; it's always an unpleasant surprise at just how hard it is to manoeuvre a big quilt through the ridiculously small harp space on my sewing machine.  (It's the one thing I'd change about my machine.  Well, that and the position of the reverse 'paddle' - when quilting a big quilt, the bulk sometimes gets caught on it and I find myself going unexpectedly backwards!)

Fairy quilt - waiting for pins

ETA: The quilt is based on Sarah's Stained quilt design but I designed the blocks to fit around the 9" (finished) feature squares.  The blocks were designed before I started cutting but the fabrics were chosen as I cut each block.

This morning, I went to my LQS to get some quilting thread as I was finding it hard to decipher colours online and I wanted a pale pink variegated thread which wasn't 'too pink'.  That trip turned out to be a waste of time, petrol and energy as they no longer sell the thread I went for (King Tut) and only sell 100, 50 and 12 weight thread and I wanted 40, or 30 at a push.  Within ten minutes of being home, I'd ordered two spools of this thread - I hope it arrives soon and looks okay on the quilt!  I think I'm going to quilt lines down the length of the quilt (I can't go across as there's no way I'll wrestle it through the machine!), perhaps similar to Hadley's quilting?  Any thoughts will be gratefully received!  (I don't do FMQ and neither do I have time to hand quilt it so I'm limited to straight/straightish/wavy lines!)

In other news, the parts of my garden which are planted are doing well:

My current favourite corner of the garden
My 'woodland' corner
Work in progress
Lots more planting needed in this bed but I'm happy with it so far.  To be added: delphinium, (tall) aquilegia, verbena, clematis (left hand trellis)

I have a problem area which is holding onto water like it knows something we don't (not the whole area, just patches of it.  Problem is, you don't know what a patch is like until something is planted in it and it rains as it all looks/digs up the same and it wasn't a problem when it was laid to lawn.) and will be sorted this year - it's getting a raised bed put on it!  We're (I say 'we', I won't be doing any digging, I'm leaving that to Phil, the landscaper, and his lads!) digging down about 4" and replacing the 'soil' (clay!) with gravel/rubble before building the bed and filling it with top soil.  I'm currently contemplating designs, which is why that block is in the photo above!  This is the area to be sorted, with my watery holes (hole watch has been going on for far too long!):

Problem area

In amongst fairy piecing and pinning, I've managed to tick off a couple of items from my FAL list and I'm rather pleased with them.  I'm going to do separate blog posts for them as it makes it easier to link up at the end of the quarter (and I'm assuming it makes it easier for Adrianne to check!).  Let's just say that a couple of long-standing WIPs have been finished and I'm rather chuffed with them/myself!  (If you can't bear to wait then you can see them on Flickr!)

Archie has been dreaming of chasing rabbits (he's always preferred that to actually chasing them!), biscuits falling from the sky and a permanently available patch of sun:

Shhhhhh...I'm asleep!

The giveaway I promised in my last post is coming imminently - I just need to write the post and I'll publish it so keep your eyes peeled!

Thanks for popping in!


  1. Lucky girl to have such a great quilt - good luck with the epic job of quilting it!

  2. nice looking patterns - I love your gardens - they look low maintence

  3. That is such a pretty quilt - and a monster size!! I think a Hadley style quilting would be lovely - I did something similar on my brothers quilt a few years ago. "Organic lines" go fairly quickly, too.

    Good luck with the garden! My mum had a trench dug and filled with gravel and relaid with lawn in her new clay patch garden. It worked like a charm and her trees are thriving!

  4. Very pretty quilt and a LOT of work. Did you follow a pattern or just choose a block size and make it up as you went?

  5. that quilt is indeed enormous, and also really pretty. Good luck with the quilting!

  6. Beautiful quilts, Helen! Yellow with pink looks delicious! I love your garden and wooden corner! Sweet dreams Archie! x Teje

  7. That quilt is HUGE - very lovely though, and I like the yellow sashing. It's nice how the sister's quilts are so different even though following the same theme.

    The garden (ignoring the watery holes) is looking lovely - I'm not surprised Archie likes being out there. Hope you're recovering from your fall down the stairs - I've done that once and it was eyewateringly painful.

  8. Love the pop of yellow in the sashings (?) - it's a gorgeous colour! AND no more falling down stairs please, my heart just leaped into my throat!

  9. Fabulous fairy quilt! Love the way you've used the print to best effect. Your garden is looking fabulous as well! Making me envious of the beautiful blue skies! <3

  10. The fairy quilt looks fab! I really like the idea of lateral quilting- I'm hopeless at quilting straight so I think of mine as liberated - and have learnt to love their, um, free range ness!

  11. So glad you didn't hurt your self seriously in your fall. The fairy quilt is adorable and was a lot of work! I'm sure it'll be treasured for years to come.

  12. Arrrgh You fell down stairs too?
    Love your Woodland Corner . .all that gorgeous purple in Spring.


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